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Republican state Sen. Phil Pavlov of St. Clair Township became the first candidate to announce his intent to run for the seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Candice Miller in the 10th Congressional District.

Miller, R-Harrison Township, said this month that she’ll retire in 2016 after seven terms in the U.S. House.

“There is no way to replace Candice, but I am honored so many have asked me to try,” Pavlov said in a Monday statement.

“I know I can win. Past tough campaigns for the House and Senate have proven it, and I currently represent or have represented 45 percent of the voters in the 10th Congressional District — more than any other potential candidate.”

Other Republicans who have expressed interest in running for Miller’s seat include state Sen. Jack Brandenburg of Harrison Township, former state Sen. Alan Sanborn of Richmond, former state Rep. Pete Lund of Shelby Township, Rep. Andrea LaFontaine of Columbus Township, freshman Rep. Todd Courser of Lapeer, and former state Rep. Leon Drolet of Macomb Township.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, a Democrat, has indicated he doesn’t plan to run for Miller’s seat in the district that includes northern Macomb County and St. Clair, Huron, Tuscola, Sanilac and Lapeer counties and is considered solidly Republican by political observers.

Pavlov served six years in the Michigan House and four in the state Senate with a record of “fiscal and social, pro-life conservatism,” he said.

Pavlov just began his second term in the Senate and won’t be able to run again in four years because of term limits. He may safely run for Miller’s seat in 2016 knowing, if unsuccessful, he may return to the Senate.

mburke@detroitnews.com

Detroit News Staff Writer Chad Livengood contributed.

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